8 May 2024

Release of the Early Years Strategy 2024-2034

On Tuesday 7 May 2024, the Hon Amanda Rishworth MP, Minister for Social Services and the Hon Dr Anne Aly MP, Minister for Early Education and Minister for Youth released the Australian Government’s Early Years Strategy (the Strategy).

The release of the Strategy follows approximately 10 months of extensive consultation with all Australian governments, service providers, educators, academics, peak organisations, communities, families, carers and importantly children. You can access the full Strategy here.

What is the Early Years Strategy?

The Strategy represents an overarching ten-year framework that aims to support a coordinated and integrated approach to the Australian Government’s policies, services and investments targeting children in the critical early years, from the important antenatal period to 5 years of age, so that all Australian children have the opportunity to thrive and reach their full potential.

As such, the scope of actions under the Strategy is much broader than a focus on early childhood education and care alone, highlighting the following four priority focus areas that will shape action under the Strategy:

Value the early years

  • Raise awareness about why early childhood matters
  • Embed the voices of children and their families

Empower parents, caregivers and families

  • Empower parents, caregivers and families with skills, resources and capabilities
  • Support parents to connect with other parents and their local community
  • Make supports and services responsive and inclusive to children and their parents
  • Move towards universal access to early childhood education and care

Support and work with communities

  • Support local solutions to local problems
  • Foster shared decision making

Strengthen accountability and coordination

  • Better integration, collaboration and coordination of policy, programs and services
  • Stronger data, research and evaluation

You can read a snapshot of the Early Years Strategy that outlines the vision, underpinning principles, outcomes, and the priority focus areas here.

Why was the Strategy developed ?

The first five years of a child's life, including the antenatal period, is a critical developmental window that sets children up for lifelong success and the Government wants to deliver a new, integrated, holistic, whole-of-Commonwealth approach to the early years. A summary of the evidence informing the Strategy is available here.

Furthermore, the results of consultations and research have revealed that early childhood programs, supports and services can be difficult for parents, caregivers and others to access or navigate and may not be effective or fit for purpose. Some children aren’t doing as well as they could be, and some families may want or need more help to do the important job of raising children.

The Strategy demonstrates the Government’s commitment to:

  • Reducing silos across Government programs
  • Integrating and coordinating early childhood initiatives for greater impact
  • Achieving better outcomes for children and their families
  • Meeting Australia’s commitments under human rights treaties

How will the Strategy be implemented?

The Strategy document outlines what the Government will do under each priority focus area and these activities will form the basis of three action plans across the life of the Strategy.

This approach will allow actions taken under the Strategy to be responsive to contemporary challenges and opportunities, while still retaining an enduring focus on the overarching outcomes and vision. The action plans will capture progress and actions arising from interconnected major reviews and reform activities, including in early childhood education and care. The first action plan will start in 2024.

National Family Day Care Week

It is National Family Day Care Week and all around the country children, Educators and Services are celebrating, shining a spotlight on the incredible work individuals within our sector do for thousands of families and communities around the country every day.

National Family Day Care Week celebrates the vital role family day care plays in the development and wellbeing of over 75,000 Australian children. The much-loved week is integral to raising the image and profile of family day care. It celebrates the unique benefits of the small group settings, personalised educational programming and flexible hours of care that make family day care the option of choice for so many Australian families.

Unfortunately, due to weather outcomes, FDCA’s Adventure at the Zoo has been cancelled but we are thrilled to see the many picnics, parties and gatherings occurring in honour of National Family Day Care Week. We encourage you to share your celebrations with us on Facebook and Instagram using #FDCWeek24!

Have You Used FDCA’s Critical Reflection Resources?

Did you know that you can access a simple tool inside your FDCA Member Zone to support you with critical reflection?

FDCA’s Critical Reflection in Practice Guide contains an overview of the critical reflection cycle and a series of provocations to help educators embed critical reflection into their practice, as an ongoing and dynamic process.

The Guide is accompanied by a Critical Reflection Companion Resource (the Companion Resource) to assist members to make the most of their Guide and strengthen their pedagogical understanding. The Companion Resource looks further into what critical reflection is, how often it should be done and its importance for early childhood educators in delivering best practice.

Both the Guide and the Companion Resource have been developed in line with our commitment to offering our members a wide range of accessible and practical resources to support their business.

You can access the Guide (FDCA Critical Reflection Tool Poster) and Companion Resource in your FDCA Member Zone.

Be You Conversations for Early Learning

Be You is the national mental health in education initiative delivered by Beyond Blue, in collaboration with Early Childhood Australia and headspace. Be You equips educators to support the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people from birth to 18 years, providing an end-to-end approach for early learning services, primary schools, and secondary schools across Australia. 

Offering an array of interactive online sessions, Be You is a useful tool for educators to chat with others within the sector, as well as professionals on how to deal with not only their own mental health, but that of the children they support. Sessions offered by Be You:

Implementation Sessions

Be You Implementation Sessions give educators from Be You Learning Communities the opportunity to engage with and learn from others. These conversation-style sessions are designed to help you translate knowledge into action and apply Be You resources, tools and guides in your learning community. The sessions, facilitated by a Be You Consultant, aim to provide a space for deeper engagement, planning for action and changing practice.


Be You Events give educators the opportunity to hear from Be You Consultants and subject matter experts. These informative sessions are designed to raise awareness and impart knowledge on topics ranging from adopting a whole-setting approach to Be You to expanding on Be You Professional Learning across various wellbeing and mental health topics.

For more information on all sessions and events hosted by Be You, please click here.